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Donating bone marrow and cord blood helps those with blood cancers

First Aired: June 7, 2015

Betsie Ledderle with Be The Match® Registry, co-host Dave Richmond and host Mary Lawrence

Betsie Ledderle with Be The Match® Registry, co-host Dave Richmond and host Mary Lawrence

Every 3 minutes, someone is diagnosed with a blood cancer like leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma. That means 20 people will learn they have a blood cancer just during our hour-long program. And, nearly 1.2 million Americans are living with a blood cancer. About 55,000 are expected to die from these diseases this year.

Familiar cancer treatments like radiation and surgery target a solid tumor that may be in your lung, bladder or colon. For these cancers, system-wide treatment like chemotherapy is frequently used, but there’s also another curative measure – it is to provide a bone marrow or cord blood transplant that replaces a patient’s unhealthy blood-forming cells with healthy ones.

Our guest is Betsie Ledderle, Community Engagement Representative in Central North Carolina for Be The Match® Registry. The Registry is the world’s largest and most-diverse listing of potential marrow donors and donated cord blood units. She shares vital facts and dispels myths about donating bone marrow, the transplant process and cord blood as well as how you can register.

The National Marrow Donor Program has an app with transplant guidelines and what to expect in check-up appointments. Go to your app store and search Be The Match® to access it for free.

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